Apax Funds to acquire ophthalmic lens specialist Rodenstock

Funds advised by Apax are to acquire Rodenstock Group (Rodenstock), a manufacturer of premium ophthalmic lenses, from Compass Partners.

Founded in 1877, Rodenstock has been a global leader in prescription lenses for over 140 years, with a strong track record of innovative product development and market leading technologies. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Rodenstock employs around 4,900 people worldwide and is represented by sales subsidiaries and distribution partners in more than 85 countries. Rodenstock has a strong and growing pipeline of innovation; its patented DNEye Pro technology stands at the core of its business strategy and made Rodenstock the first company to measure the individual shape and size of each eye and use thousands of data points to produce individualised eyeglass lenses, called Biometric Intelligent Glasses (BIG VISION). The company’s portfolio also includes eyewear under the Rodenstock and Porsche Design brands.

The Apax Funds will support the Rodenstock management team’s vision of accelerating the company’s growth through innovation, commercial execution and digitisation, whilst continuing to deliver the highest level of service to clients and partners. The Apax Healthcare team have a deep understanding of innovative MedTech through prior investments in the space, including companies such as Candela, a pioneering non-surgical aesthetic device company, and Acelity, the global leader in wound-care products.

Anders Hedegaard, CEO of Rodenstock, says: “We are excited to partner with the Apax Funds, who have a proven culture of investing for growth, and who will be able to support Rodenstock’s continued quest to develop and produce the highest quality lenses for our customers. During 2020 we saw tremendous growth driven by our BIG VISION technology, which helped us emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger than most of our competitors. Our innovative technology enhances the value proposition that can be delivered by our opticians, who in turn are delivering optimal vision to consumers. With the support of Apax we are looking to expand our presence even further by offering our customers more excellent and innovative products.”

Steven Dyson, Partner at Apax and Co-Head of Healthcare, says: “Rodenstock fits perfectly with the Apax Funds’ healthcare strategy of investing in innovative companies with a differentiated customer proposition and the potential to achieve stand-out growth. Under Anders’ management, Rodenstock’s strategic refocus has already translated into strong performance in 2019 and 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a robust foundation for future success.”

Arthur Brothag, Partner at Apax, adds: “Rodenstock has a strong reputation for innovation and German engineering proven over 140 years, and has created a paradigm shift in progressive lenses with BIG VISION. We look forward to leveraging the Apax Funds’ experience and know-how in MedTech and supporting the entire Rodenstock team on further driving innovation and accelerating transformational growth."

Tim Wright, Partner at Compass Partners, says: “In the last 5 years Rodenstock has been transformed into a global leader in ophthalmic lenses. We are delighted that the Apax Funds have agreed to acquire the business. We believe their partnership with Anders Hedegaard and his team will provide a strong platform for future growth which will allow Rodenstock to maximise its full potential.”

The transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the middle of 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.